Monday, January 7, 2013

Road Trip 1 (Vigan/Laoag/Pagudpud) - How much did I spend on this Road Trip?

Seeing and conquering northern Luzon was one of my ardent dreams since I learned how to drive. I know that this is no easy feat even for seasoned drivers. Because of this, I need to make sure that the most important member of the family should be well prepared and ready for the rigorous travel. I don't speak about my wife or my kids. I'm speaking about the family car.

It is worth mentioning that it took us 9 hours to reach Vigan City last Christmas day with 2 stop-overs at NLEX for breakfast and at Rosario, La Union for lunch while returning back to Manila from Laoag City, it was a grueling 15 hours drive due to traffic at La Union and Pangasinan provinces. Interestingly enough, we were caught with December truck ban in Manila thus countless of slow moving trucks were traversing NLEX with us on our way back home thereby increasing our travel time.

This post will tackle the expenses on exploring northern Luzon by car.


The breakdown of fixed expenses are as follows:

* NLEX: 215 pesos (2 way) = 430 pesos
* SCTex (Dau to Tarlac): 104 pesos (2 way) = 208 pesos

For fuel, my Nissan Grand Livina clocked 1,301 kms for 4D/3N round-trip (Manila - Vigan - Laoag - Pagudpud - Laoag - Vigan - Manila). The total odometer reading includes the joy ride and quick visit to interesting places around those areas. After re-fueling for several times, I was able to determine my fuel consumption. Our family car consumed around 13 kpl mixed hi-way and city driving. Thus, 1301 kms/13 kpl = around 100 liters of unleaded fuel. At that time, the price within MM of unleaded fuel was slightly more than 50 pesos per liter while it reached more than 52 pesos as you go farther away from Manila. To average my fuel expenses I would use 51 pesos per liter of unleaded fuel.

* My total fuel expenses = 5,100 pesos

The breakdown of variable expenses are as follows:

* Hotel accommodation at My Vigan Home Hotel for 1 night stay at family room for 5 person: 3,750 pesos

* Hotel accommodation at Isabel Suites Laoag City for 2 nights stay at 2 twin rooms with extra bed (5 people):  1400 pesos (2 rooms) + 350 pesos extra bed = 3,150 pesos (2 nights) = 6,300 pesos

I booked hotels with complimentary breakfasts so I need to spend only for lunch, snack and dinner. Meal expenses would depend mainly on where you 'd dine.

Bangui Windmill, Burgos

Don't forget the souvenir items. Remember, you don't know whether you'll be able to visit these places again so it is better to buy something that would remind you of your travel to these places. Plus, don't forget the "pasalubongs" and cheap local products such as garlic, broom and local vinegar. In our case, we purchased:

Ref Magnets at Vigan City: 50 pesos (2 pieces) = 100 pesos 
Bangui Windmill replica: 80 pesos
1.5 liter (vinegar) Sukang Iloko: 35 pesos
Baguio Walis  Tambo (Broom) : 100 pesos
Bawang (Garlic): 40 pesos (2 lengths): 80 pesos
Island Souvenir T-shirts at Vigan City: 400 pesos (5 pieces) = 2,000 pesos

So you think it is over? Not Yet! Lest you forget the local delicacies such as:

Vigan Empanada: 30 pesos (4 pieces) = 120 pesos
Small Cornicks: 3 packs for 100 pesos
Tinubong (glutinous rice cooked inside a bamboo): 3 pieces for 100 pesos
My favorite, Collette Buko Pie at Rosario, La union: 150 pesos
Otap from Collette also: 50 pesos

Local dishes such as Bagnet / Pakbet / Poqui Poqui Balls / etc. I would safely assume that you could allocate 200 pesos per head for each meal. Fancy drinks not included. Stick with soft drink, iced tea or plain water. Better yet, bring bottled water with you so as to avoid ordering those expensive drinks.

Don't forget the side expenses such as:

Vigan Calesa Tour (1 hour): 150 pesos
Burgos Museum at Vigan City: 20 pesos (5 persons) = 100 pesos
Vigan Bell Tower (donation): 20 pesos
Total tips for hotel room boys: 200 pesos
Malacanang of the North: 30 pesos (5 persons) = 150 pesos


If you are traveling with your family, be prepared for any eventuality. It is safer to bring extra funds for emergency expenses. My wife had the  board and lodging amount while I got the transportation and emergency fund. When my rear right tire blew, I knew that I would be spending a big part of my emergency fund for a replacement tire. The new tire cost me a whopping 4,000 pesos at Vigan City.

Bring meds as well. Though drugstores can be found in major cities across northern Luzon; it is better to have meds and has no need for them rather than the opposite. I was downed with cough and cold while my youngest was having stomach pain; fortunately, my wife brought some emergency meds thus; my son and I were able to recuperate during our road trip.

In addition, spare some amount for stop-overs expenses especially when you have kids with you.

I won't sum up our total expenses anymore since my aim is simply to give a rough estimate for a family trip to northern Luzon by private car; I am sure that you'd definitely have different travel itinerary that suits your needs. In fact, if you'll use a diesel vehicle then the fuel cost will be lower.

Finally, if you have kids with you, aside from gadgets, don't ever forget to bring tons of snacks and drinks while traveling. A cooler would be of great help. Otherwise, tension and stress can easily flare up and destroy the vacation mood, trust me on this, lol.

To check our complete travel journal: Road Trip to Northern Luzon (Vigan/Laoag/Pagudpud) 



43 comments:

  1. This is a very detailed entry which will sure be helpful to people who are planning to do road trip to Ilocos.

    Keep on writing! Cheers!

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  2. Thanks. Stay tuned for the actual post about these places.

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  3. Very nice travel journal thumbs up to you! Agree with you totally on the family preparation. Kids and wifey are complicated LoL!

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  4. planning to go to Ilocos this coming April and your blog helps me a lot. :)

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  5. Your post is awesome. My friends and I are going on a road trip this June and I'm trying to calculate how much fuel we'll consume. I'm also considering if I should use a Honda or Toyota. I figured the Toyota coz diesel is cheaper. What do you suggest?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree with you that you can save money if you use diesel engine. However, since it is a long trip don't forget to compare the comfort of driving between a Honda gas and Toyota diesel. Moreover, though diesel fuel is cheaper sometimes gas engine mileage (kpl) in hi-way can be higher than a diesel engine.

      Enjoy your trip!

      Delete
  6. thank you, this post is very helpful since im planning to travel by car from bikol to northern Luzon with my mom, brothers and sister. :) but the problem is I'm not yet that much of a very good driver. Is the road safe for an amatuer driver like me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can say that the roads going to northern luzon are generally safe even if you are a newbie driver. If you can drive from bicol to manila then there is no reason that you can't conquer north luzon.

      However, you should prepare yourself for the long trip.

      Enjoy your trip. I have been planning to conquer bicol as well.

      Delete
  7. im from vigan but i didnt yet tried to go up to pagudpud where a lot of people went there says its a nice place.i am planning to go there this coming summer vacation with my wife and 2 kids.since im staying in cavite it will be a long drive with my '99 vti honda civic AT..i hope my buddy civic can make it..:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just make sure that your car is on tip-top condition. You should prepare yourself as well for long and arduous journey. Enjoy your coming trip!

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  8. hi..may i ask did you book your accomodations ahead of time? if yes, which site? thanks..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I always book our hotel room in advance. If I can't find the hotel in Agoda or other booking sites such as booking.com then I go directly to their website. Usually, for local hotels, you can reserve the room through emails and they would ask you to deposit the payment on their account.

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  9. You're post is so helpful. Family is planning for a road trip to Vigan mid 2015 so its a good budget reference for me to start off. Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome and goodluck on your family trip.

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  10. hello!
    we are also planning to go there after Christmas.
    we just refer our itinerary based other post/blog like this.
    we will be spending 3 days 2 nights.
    we wish to see (our itinerary):
    D1- calle crisologo,
    paoay church, paoay sand dunes
    D2- cape bojeador lighthouse, kapurpurawan rock formation, Bangui windmills, patapat via duct,
    D3- baluarte, hidden garden burnayan

    our etd to manila is 5am.(D1 starts)
    Does our proposed Itinerary possible enough when it comes to driving hours to reach each location?
    Wish to see each point before night time.

    Please help Lol
    Thank you!

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  11. I doubt whether you'll have enough time on D1. However, I think it is still doable due to newly opened TPLEX until Pangasinan. No worries for D2 & D3.

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  12. Hi!

    thanks for the response. I will take note of that.
    So it is possible to go straight to laoag and check in there right?...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi!

    thanks for the response. I will take note of that.
    So it is possible to go straight to laoag and check in there right?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for sharing this :) Very detailed and engaging.
    Really helpful

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi is it okay to go there in 1st week of august? is the weather okay? Please reply. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea about the weather. Better check the weather forecast of pag-asa.

      Delete
  16. Hello! how did you blow your tire? I'm planning to drive to Vigan with my wife using a Honda City 2009 1.5L

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We passed several roads construction and repair and it seemed sharp edges had damaged my tire wall. Don't worry your City can handle the trip.

      Delete
  17. Hello! Thank you so much for this useful blog. Lots of great info. I'm planning to go to Vigan. Are the roads easy to drive or ma-zigzag? Marami bang gas stations along the way? Also, hindi ba nakakaligaw yung daan? Reliable ba yung road na sinasabi sa Google Maps pag ni-search mo: https://goo.gl/maps/g8NLvV1yoLU2

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  18. No problem regarding gas stations. There are plenty along the way but the price is a bit higher compared in Manila. Hindi nakakaligaw, just follow the main road until Rosario La Union. From that point sa left side ka na kasi pag nag continue ka ay baka sa Kennon road ka makarating. We used Google Maps too. Don't worry, no zig zag roads going to Vigan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi were driving straight to Saud,pagudpud tom. and spending new years eve in vigan,is it enough time to enjoy said?thanks!

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    2. Just pray that traffic along the way won't be horrible.

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    3. maraming maraming salamat po sa pagsagot. :)

      Delete
  19. Hello! We are planning to go to ilocos this coming april. 5D/4N.
    Pwede ba humingi ng advice how many days kami s vigan, laoag & pagudpod? As of now our plan is 1night in vigan, visit lang laoag tapos pagudpod n 3nights. Is that ok? O bk mahirap at nakakapagod sa driver. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1 day in Vigan is enough but for Laoag it is up to your itinerary. 3 nights in Pagudpod could be very long.

      Delete
  20. Thank you for the info ��

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi! Thank you for your blog. Its very helpful. I and my friends are planning to go to ilocos this coming holiday. Ask ko lang po ung sa tire nyo po. As in pinalitan nyo po talga ung buong tire na pumutok? Di po ba kyang remedyohan ng mga vulcanizing shops? I am wondering if the toyota vios 1.3e can travel that long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Palit tire kasi p unit yung wall. Nasugatan siguro ng mga sharp edges ng rocks kasi may mga ginagawang kalsada and tulay during that time. I am sure kaya yan ng vios. Basta make sure na ok and spare tire mo and nasa kundisyon ang car mo, like fluids, lights and oils..

      Delete
    2. Yes. Palit tire kasi p unit yung wall. Nasugatan siguro ng mga sharp edges ng rocks kasi may mga ginagawang kalsada and tulay during that time. I am sure kaya yan ng vios. Basta make sure na ok and spare tire mo and nasa kundisyon ang car mo, like fluids, lights and oils..

      Delete
  22. sir plano din namin mag byahe s pagudpod sir 1.0 celrio car ko s tingin nyo kakayanin kaya? 2mnths plng po ung car..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Kaya yan ng sasakyan nyo lalo na wala namang aakyatin.

      Delete
  23. The best .. well organize ka kuya...thanks for the details...

    ReplyDelete
  24. thank you so much for your blog, sir ... so informative and encouraging :-)

    ReplyDelete